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Love this blog.

I liked the point on safety to get money for cycling. Personally, I tell people that what's more important are the other two letters of SEC: safety, efficiency, and comfort.

Cycling infrastructure offers all three of these. Efficiency means faster cycling and faster motoring which occurs when we stay out of each others way.

Unfortunately, it seems that only in motoring do efficiency and comfort matter.

This is also why we wind up doing stupid things (at least where I live) by building infrastructure where it's easy to ride all ready instead of where it's hard to ride because they want to build things to accomodate those who are all ready riding.

I think that they should build in places where it sucks to ride and where few ride instead. It's like advertising a product line that all ready brings in a lot of money and neglecting to advertise a product that nobody heard of.

WashCycle has hit on the essential contradiction.

Of course, it isn't sexy to ask for more infrastucture (and more spending) and changing the law is much easier.

(that is the genius of the gas tax, because it makes you think the user pays, when in reality it is the user paying for a highways system for trucking)

biking is both safe and unsafe.

The more you bike, the longer you will live (on average) because the general health benefits far outweigh the dangers from accidents.

Its safer, per hour, than driving.

Its riskier, per mile, than driving.

Its riskier than many other forms of recreation, though safer than some.

Its not so unsafe that biking is a bad idea - but its unsafe enough that improvements in safety can well be worth it for that alone. Plus increased comfort and efficiency are benefits too.

hi erica,
caught your story about bikes, as it appeared on TV, through the Washcycle blog. you should check out his comments...
i know you mean well. but youre clueless, as the "story" indicated. THAT is why i declined to be interviewed on TV regarding bikes when you asked me, in cleveland park, yesterday...
i knew it would be a pointless hatchet job, and it was...
as usual: it's BICYCLES that are the "problem"?...in ANY manner??...
likewise, those "black people" over yonder on the east side of the river must be responsible for their own impoverishment as well...if only theyd follow the social rules...
anyhow...
if you want to learn something contact me or my wife. i used to teach at a university and now do independent research; my wife (who is half-cuban) teaches at the university of maryland. i can assure you you will learn. youll at least learn the difference between source and investigative journalism...
best,
mike

ps: go interview bicyclists friday mornings at friday coffee club at swings coffee in dc from about 8-10am. THEYRE informed bicyclists...you won't hear them blame the victim ("bikers gotta follow the road rules if they want respect..." -- this retort is idiotic. bikes arent cars. the roads were designed for cars, not bikes. youd have to be a MORON to slavishly follow road rules on your bike IF YOU LIVE. ive ridden over 13,000 miles per year for 27 years...besides, the car drivers sure dont follow the road rules!!! NOT EVEN CLOSE according to study after study...

do you know of these books:

Lots of Parking
Suburban Nation
Geography of Nowhere
Cities for a Small Planet
One Less Car
Republic of Drivers

PLEASE, for the love of god (zeus), at least read this:

http://washcycle.typepad.com/home/2008/07/the-myth-of-the.html

@lme "youd have to be a MORON to slavishly follow road rules on your bike IF YOU LIVE."
I even stop at stop signs on steep downhill sections when riding on ice with a semi truck behind me...There are clearly exceptions when strict adherence to the law is not the safest thing for us, but you're making it sound a bit extreme. There's nothing slavish about following the law 95% of the time. It's really quite simple. The times when our safety would be better off by not adhering to the law is not what most of the drivers are complaining about. I assure you, those that are sane (as opposed to those that yell at all things cyclist), have no problem with us doing something illegal if doing things legally result in us dying. As I see it, they are complaining about the illegal actions that are done out of convenience when it provides no additional benefit to our safety.

urban engineer:

uh, im not aware of any data that backs your claims about what offends motorists. quite the contrary in fact.

and...obey 95% of the time?? really? REALLY? how many miles do you ride a year and where? law counts when it is defensible; when it is intelligently and not blindly constructed or applied.

the cars on car roads dont stop 95% percent of the time for stop signs. not even close. ditto for speeding. or hand held devices in dc..or...

YOU need to read the myth of the scofflaw cyclist...

STOP BLAMING THE VICTIMS HERE!!!! BICYCLES
ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!!!! idaho stops in particular are what ALL bicyclists should practice, legal or not. and convenience? oh brother. bicyclists are the only folks concerned with convenience?? pleeeeezze.....

get some backbone, man. stand up for social justice. bicyclists are exploited and oppressed in this culture. needlessly and unfairly.

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